Swaraj Abhiyan’s Jai Kisan Andolan has announced the launch of a daily Minimum Support Price (MSP) alert. The initiative is a means to inform farmers, consumers, and policy makers of whether farmers are getting the MSP on their produce or not. The Finance Minister had announced in the budget two months ago that the MSP for farmers will be 50% above the cost price of the produce.
Every morning, the MSP alert will be made known through the social media handles of organizations related to Jai Kisan Andolan. In the statement released by Jai Kisan Andolan, Yogendra Yadav, President of Swaraj India said, “The nation should know if the farm markets are duping the farmers”.
“The statistics published by MSP Alert, the government, credible media, and research sources will be compiled to alert the government and the country on the continuing agriculture crisis”, Avik Saha, National Convenor of Jai Kisan Movement said.
According to the statement, for the last three weeks, a team from the MSP Satyagraha Dal has visited the agricultural markets of 7 states of the Jai Kisan Movement and other organizations and has found that farmers are not getting MSP in any of the markets of the country. The daily MSP alert is intended to protect the agricultural industry and the interests of the farmer.
Stressing on the need for the country to consider the agricultural problems of the country like farmer suicides, the report states that MSP can help increase the income of the Indian farmer. The Jai Kisan Andolan has requested citizens living near agricultural markets to take note of the prices that farmers are getting and problems they are facing to make them known to the nation. They can post their information on [email protected], which will in turn be published by Jai Kisan Andolan through the daily MSP alert.
Swaraj Abhiyan is socio-political organization created by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan in April 2015 after they were dismissed from the Aam Aadmi Party. They launched the Jai Kisan Andolan as an initiative to protect farmers’ rights.
Indebtedness caused by various factors, such as the inability to sell produce, crop failures, or farmers being cheated with low-quality seeds, have induced almost 300,000 farmers in India to commit suicide since 1995. Some startups are trying to bring about economic upliftment for the farmers through technology. Founded by businessman Naveen Kumar, a website called NaPanta helps farmers book agricultural equipment rentals and sales from their own farmland. Another website, Farmer Friend, with 37,000 registered farmers, connects cultivators directly to buyers. It was founded by Paviter Sandhu and his cousin Harjap Singh.
According to S.S. Mantha, the former chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education, as quoted by Ozy.com, “Satellite imagery can help caution farmers about incoming storms. And on the ground, technology can help cut out layers of middlemen who clean, process, package and market the produce.” Technology might yet turn the tide in India’s agricultural sector.